17 January 2018

Hybrid EHV/HSR Concept

I am a passionate transportation advocate. In particular, I believe that dormant lies a revolution in how people get around, which could potentially ripple into long-term positive developments in sustainable urban design, environmental impact, socioeconomic division, public health, and more in the United States.

Governments and politicians often promise bold infrastructure improvements, yet routinely fail to work together in order to even provide incremental updates to our vast and aging infrastructure. Furthermore, even the most visionary and well stocked investors would be daunted by the paradigm shift necessary for Americans to truly embrace, sustain, and financially reward a whole new mode of transport that requires vast sums of capital outlay with uncertain returns dependent on changing Americans’ finicky behaviors.

Meanwhile, the investment community spurs continued construction of electric transmission lines throughout the US, unleashed by regulatory reforms such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order 1000, designed to harness economic competition among utilities in order to reform transmission system planning and to spur construction of $77 billion of incremental transmission investment nationwide between 2008 and 2015. The utility sector makes for a logical Hyperloop One partner, with considerable financial resources, capabilities in designing and constructing large-scale infrastructure, relationships with communities that minimize NIMBY resistance and enable critical right-of-way acquisitions, correlating demand corridors based on geographic population distribution, the need to haul bulky substation equipment quickly according to power system needs, and further potential inter-industrial and technical synergies..

Linked is a high-level concept proposal for a joint EHV/HSR project between the transportation and utility sectors, which I had the opportunity to present to executive leadership of American Electric Power (AEP) for their consideration and feedback. Without yet dictating technical details, it outlines a host of synergies achievable through constructive inter-industrial collaboration, helping boost the prospects of high-speed rail and securing the relevance of electric transmission systems in an uncertain yet exciting clean-energy future.

Broken Down and Broken Up

This past December was an immensely difficult month for me. I suffered a weed-induced manic attack on 30 November 2017, which resulted in my boyfriend Matthew breaking up with me, my friend Leah cutting off ties with me, and the loss of my housing in Portland, Oregon. In a nutshell, my mental breakdown was costly and resulted in an overturning of my life and my living situation.

The month of December was tumultuous for me personally. I was arrested in Portland when police confronted me about smoking cannabis in my car (which is legal in Oregon). I was checked into a psychiatric hospital for a week in Portland after a dramatic confrontation with Leah and the police. During my 36-hour cross-country drive home from Portland to Steubenville, I was pulled over for a burnt out headlight, only to have the police search my car, which resulted in my arrest for possessing less than 1/4-oz of cannabis on my person. I served 8 days in jail prior to my court date, which was an embarrassing but oddly pleasant chance to clear my mind of the fog in which I had found myself at that time.

Since then, my time in Steubenville has been splendid and healing. My friend Whitney has been gracious enough to open her house and her family to me, while I spend the next several weeks recuperating and continuing my eternal job hunt. In my hometown, I've spent time productively applying for jobs, interviewing, volunteering at my high school, and reconnecting with cherished friends of mine from high school.

At this point, I am still applying for jobs, awaiting interviews, waiting on prospective employers to follow up, trying to rekindle a relationship with Matthew, and basically trying to put my life back together again. I'm thankful for the love and the support I've received from my beloved friends. And I'm hopeful for the future, as I climb from out of "rock bottom" in order to restore the greatness that I once had.